Let’s dance! Nietzsche on music and dancing.

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In his book The birth of tragedy, Friedrich Nietzsche, the philosopher of life, found two principles in nature. In Greek mythology, Apollo and Dionysus are both sons of Zeus. Apollo is the god of the sun, of rational thinking and order, and appeals to logic, prudence and purity. Dionysus is the god of wine and dance, of irrationality and chaos, and appeals to emotions and instincts. The Ancient Greeks did not consider the two gods to be opposites or rivals, although they were often entwined by nature.

So, how can these two principles teach us more about the body?

The body, like any form of life, is made of these two principles. The Dionysian part of the body refers to chaotic instincts as very different of rationality and logic, a cherished dichotomy to philosophy in general. In other words, the Dionysian part of the body is the energy of life and survival that can be materialized in reproduction, nutrition, breathing and movements. This is when life in us, the Dionysian part, gets to be creative. Simply put, this is when we dance our heart out like nobody is watching; this is when a child moves in all different ways; this when we also stop and stretch and lay down. Sometimes, we are awaken full of life and sometimes we are not. Often we want to move in a certain way. Those misunderstood tendencies are the Dionysian in us, this life energy that can’t be contained or else it will turn against us with self-hate, diseases and pain.

“One must still have chaos in oneself to give birth to a dancing star”. Friedrich Nietzsche.

The Apollonian part in us is the rational and order part that gives the Dionysian energy a certain form. It is the idea of form and technique in any given activity. A proper form or technique tends to turn a movement into an aesthetic and orderly activity. This is when sports science and experience advises on good form to prevent injuries, because the Dionysian energetic instinctive part of the body can be chaotic and dangerous.

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”. Friedrich Nietzsche.

Peculiarly inspiring quotes!

“If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid”. Epictetus

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage”. Seneca

“We have art in order not to die from the truth”. F. Nietzsche

“Religion is to mysticism what popularization is to science”. H. Bergson

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live”. Marcus Aurelius

“Free election of masters does not abolish the masters of the slaves”. Herbert Marcuse

“Love is a serious mental illness”. Plato

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Plato

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit”. Aristotle

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Is anything illogical called madness?

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Indeed it is, mainly in the West but not everywhere. The concept of illogical as the opposite of madness comes from the long philosophical tradition which culprit was in the 18th century, the century of Enlightment and Reason. Then, illogical means irrational, emotional, intuitive, imaginative and any other state of mind or idea that didn’t fill the logical criteria.

However, life is not logical.

If one has to apply logic in their day to day life, it would appear this way: wake up, work, eat, sleep, wake up, work, eat, sleep etc. again and again in the same repetitive actions for the next decades. Taken to this level, life in itself is put aside.

The most beautiful moments happens outside of logic, in moments of foolishness and carelessness. If love has to be seen through the eyes of logic, it would become the most idiotic human experience. Call it madness, love is the most beautiful !

To call madness anything illogical is to step out of life because there is a dimension (if not dimensions endlessly stretched out) beyond logic.